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Programs include LPN/LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and more

The registered nurse (RN) has a critical role in the healthcare system. RNs independently perform many healthcare activities, such as monitoring patients' conditions and administering medicine. Registered nurses also frequently take on administrative roles, supervising other nursing personnel like nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses.

RNs can pursue several distinct education paths. All culminate in the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Minnesota offers three types of prelicensure programs: two-year associate's degree (ADN), four-year bachelor's degree (BSN), and direct-entry master's degree (MSN) programs. The associate’s and bachelor’s degree tracks are most common; Minnesota is home to roughly 25 ADN programs and 20 prelicensure BSN programs. The latter have increased in popularity as employers place greater emphasis on baccalaureate education in hiring and promotion decisions. Career switchers with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree can enroll in the direct-entry MSN programs offered by Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul or University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

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Job prospects are very rosy for RNs throughout Minnesota. Some active hirers in the state include Mayo Clinic and Fairview Health Services. Another appealing aspect of a registered nursing career is the annual median wage of $70,560. Top RNs in Minnesota can earn upwards of $80,000.

For those keen on pursuing careers as registered nurses, we've compiled below a list of the top ADN, BSN, and direct-entry MSN programs in Minnesota.

Featured Schools

Twin Cities metro area

St. Catherine University - St. Paul
  • Direct Entry MSN: 98.6% NCLEX pass rate (2016 through 2017)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 81.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
University of Northwestern
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 98.1% NCLEX pass rate (2014 through 2017)
Inver Hills Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 94.4% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
Normandale Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 94.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
North Hennepin Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 93.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Globe University / Minnesota School of Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
University of Minnesota
  • Direct Entry MSN: 91.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Metropolitan State University
  • Direct Entry MSN: 89.7% NCLEX pass rate (2010 through 2017)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Century College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.8% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Crown College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Bethel University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Herzing University - Minneapolis
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.3% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through 2012)
St. Catherine University - Minneapolis
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 78.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
National American University - Bloomington
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 66.7% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
St. Catherine University - St. Paul
Direct Entry MSN 98.6% 2016 to 2017
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 81.2% 2009 to 2017
University of Northwestern
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 98.1% 2014 to 2017
Inver Hills Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 94.4% 2011 to 2012
Normandale Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 94.2% 2009 to 2012
North Hennepin Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 93.8% 2009 to 2012
Globe University / Minnesota School of Business
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93.0% 2009 to 2012
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.5% 2009 to 2012
University of Minnesota
Direct Entry MSN 91.9% 2009 to 2017
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.2% 2009 to 2017
Metropolitan State University
Direct Entry MSN 89.7% 2010 to 2017
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.1% 2009 to 2017
Century College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.8% 2011 to 2012
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 86.4% 2009 to 2012
Crown College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.9% 2009 to 2017
Bethel University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.9% 2009 to 2017
Herzing University - Minneapolis
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.3% 2012 to 2012
St. Catherine University - Minneapolis
Associate's Degree in Nursing 78.8% 2009 to 2017
National American University - Bloomington
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 66.7% 2011 to 2012

Other Minnesota cities

St. Olaf College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 95.7% NCLEX pass rate (2016 through 2017)
Concordia College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 94.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
St. Cloud State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 92.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Rochester Community and Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 90.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Hibbing Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Northwest Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Winona State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 89.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Alexandria Technical & Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Presentation College - Fairmont
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.2% NCLEX pass rate (2016 through 2017)
Central Lakes College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 85.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Bemidji State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.6% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2017)
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 85.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 84.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
South Central College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 84.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
College of St. Scholastica
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 84.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
Ridgewater College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 83.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Rasmussen College - St. Cloud
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 83.8% NCLEX pass rate (2010 through 2012)
St. Cloud Technical and Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 83.1% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
Northland Community and Technical College - East Grand Forks
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 80.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Riverland Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 79.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Lake Superior College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 78.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Pine Technical and Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 77.8% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through 2012)
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 76.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Minnesota State College Southeast
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 74.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 70.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
St. Olaf College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 95.7% 2016 to 2017
Concordia College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 94.4% 2009 to 2017
St. Cloud State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 92.2% 2009 to 2017
Rochester Community and Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 90.7% 2009 to 2012
Hibbing Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.9% 2009 to 2012
Northwest Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.2% 2009 to 2012
Winona State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 89.2% 2009 to 2017
Alexandria Technical & Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.4% 2009 to 2012
College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 88.4% 2009 to 2017
Presentation College - Fairmont
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.3% 2009 to 2012
Gustavus Adolphus College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.2% 2016 to 2017
Central Lakes College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 85.8% 2009 to 2012
Bemidji State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.6% 2011 to 2017
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 85.2% 2009 to 2012
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 84.9% 2009 to 2017
South Central College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 84.8% 2009 to 2012
College of St. Scholastica
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 84.2% 2009 to 2017
Ridgewater College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 83.9% 2009 to 2012
Rasmussen College - St. Cloud
Associate's Degree in Nursing 83.8% 2010 to 2012
St. Cloud Technical and Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 83.1% 2011 to 2012
Northland Community and Technical College - East Grand Forks
Associate's Degree in Nursing 80.6% 2009 to 2012
Riverland Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 79.9% 2009 to 2012
Lake Superior College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 78.5% 2009 to 2012
Pine Technical and Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 77.8% 2012 to 2012
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 76.3% 2009 to 2012
Minnesota State College Southeast
Associate's Degree in Nursing 74.5% 2009 to 2012
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 70.1% 2009 to 2012